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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: November 22, 2006 4:31 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
November 22, 2006 4:31 p.m.

Crude-oil futures tumbled more than $1 to settle at nearly $59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after the U.S. Department of Energy said crude oil and gasoline stockpiles both rose more than analysts had expected. Here is Wednesday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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CALIFORNIA REJECTS COAL: Southern California is gambling its future power needs on its constant sunshine, wind and the ability of engineers to effectively harness those and other alternative energy sources, the Associated Press reports. Officials in Pasadena, Anaheim and several other large cities notified the Intermountain Power Agency this week that they would not be renewing their contracts for cheap, coal-fired power. Those contracts expire in 2027. That leaves the cities two decades to secure the alternative energy sources they’ll need, from wind farms to desert solar power.

•More Violence in Nigeria: International oil companies may be forced to drastically alter operational procedures in the violence-wracked waters off Nigeria after one foreign oil worker was killed during an apparent hostage-rescue operation by the Nigerian military.

•BC Ban to End: British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell said a decades-long ban on offshore drilling for oil and gas will likely end within the next three years, Bloomberg reports.

•Call to Slow Oil-Sands Development: Local officials in Alberta are trying to delay Imperial Oil’s $6.5-billion Kearl oil-sands project, arguing that region’s infrastructure can’t handle more development.

•Chavez on a Mission: Drawing on billions of dollars in oil revenues, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has started a long list of social programs, called “missions,” which offer everything from job training to cash assistance for single mothers. But critics warn short-term gains against poverty may not necessarily bring long-term solutions, the Associated Press reports.

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